Illicit Drug Industry - Research Paper Example

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When one considers the illicit drugs industry, they invariably consider the most commonly referred to forms of drug trafficking; marijuana and cocaine. Although it is true that marijuana accounts for the lion’s share of drug usage, trafficking and industry within the United States, the fact of the matter is that a litany of other drugs that comprise the industry as well as the demand and supply of this industry…
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Illicit Drug Industry
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When one considers the illicit drugs industry, they invariably consider the most commonly referred to forms of drug trafficking; marijuana and cocaine. Although it is true that marijuana accounts for the lion’s share of drug usage, trafficking and industry within the United States, the fact of the matter is that a litany of other drugs that comprise the industry as well as the demand and supply of this industry. Further, a total and complete shift in drug usage has evidenced itself over the past several decades. According to these realities, the following paper will briefly discuss the means by which the illicit drugs industry currently exists and the key changes and realities that define it. With the exception of marijuana and a few other unrefined drugs, the majority of drugs within the current market are highly refined and require something of a laboratory type process to synthesize their compounded parts. For instance, drugs such as ecstasy, speed, methamphetamine, and a great many others cannot merely be harvested in the same way that marijuana can for delivery to the end-user. As a function of this level of reality, the drug industry cannot and should not be viewed as merely comprising the delivery mechanisms by which the end user attains the drug. What is meant by this is the fact that each and every process of the industry is related and ultimately complex. Taking the case of cocaine as an example, the reader realizes that the initial process begins with the planting and tempting of the coca plant. Once harvested, a complex process of synthesis is engaged in order to derive the white powdered cocaine that is used on the street. However, prior to the white outer itself ending up in the hands of drug dealers and users, it is generally cut with another substance, typically a non-narcotic, as a means of reducing the overall strength and potency of the cocaine mixture. Further, the drug is been transported from the jungles of the Amazon and South America either through central America into the United States or via the Caribbean into the United States. Once there, a complex distribution network of drug dealers and suppliers are able to integrate the drug into the hands of the users. Naturally, this specifies and denotes only one particular means by which an illicit drug is provided to the market all. Due to the fact that there are a litany of different types of illicit drugs that originate from around the world, the reader can and should understand that this only helps to tell part of the story. One of the changes which has aptly been demonstrated within the past several years is with regards to the fact that drug usage has precipitously shifted. Previously, drug usage was a problem that affected a large number of individuals within society; however, the events realities of the recent past have fundamentally shifted interpretation understanding of illicit drug usage. What is meant by this is the fact that a large and growing number of individuals within society have begun taking illicit drugs via a mechanism of legal and pharmacologically prescribed drugs. Due to the fact that doctors are increasingly willing to sign powerful prescriptions for antidepressants, anxiety medication, and attention deficit disorder medication, as well as extraordinarily powerful opiate derived pain medicines, a large number of people within society that might not have traditionally been booked on drugs have found themselves in a situation defined by drug usage. If and when the doctor and/or doctors that they are utilizing to fulfill these prescriptions are no longer willing to purchase a paid in an action it is quite obviously linked to addiction, the individual necessarily turns to the illicit drugs market as a means of providing the needed fix (Wood et al 69). This change in the illicit drug industry has promoted a level of prescription drug sale that had previously never existed. Due to the increase of demand by drug addicts for these pharmacologically derived substances, a complete and total shift in the supply and demand structure of prescription drugs has been noted. Whereas many of these drugs can be purchased for only a few dollars via legal means of the prescription from a doctor, a single tablet can sell in excess of $20-$30 on the streets. In short, the illicit drugs industry is one that has grown and morphed with the changing realities of the current time. Just as with any industry, the supply demand mechanisms that define it play a powerful role in determining what drugs will come to a further level of prominence, and where the supply and demand curves will meet at a point of equilibrium (Galenianos et al 1244). Naturally, the reality of the matter is that the prolonged and ineffective war on drugs has shifted the supply and demand curves of the illicit drugs market to be much more expensive than they would be if it were not criminalized. Many individuals have pointed to this as proof and justification for the legalization of all substance; however, the betterment the public health that would nonetheless be realized is most likely one of the many reasons why this is not yet engaged. Works Cited Daniel Woods, et al. "The Organization And Operation Of Illicit Retail Methamphetamine Markets." Criminal Justice Policy Review 23.1 (2012): 67-89. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 June 2013. Galenianos, Manolis, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, and Nicola Persico. "A Search-Theoretic Model Of The Retail Market For Illicit Drugs." Review Of Economic Studies 79.3 (2012): 1239-1269. Business Source Premier. Web. 6 June 2013. Read More
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